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Grilled Miso Salmon Tacos with Avocado and Tomatillo Salsa
Top Chef - Season 17
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I love the umami-rich miso marinade for the salmon. It adds a lot of flavor without overpowering the fish. The avocado, salsa and the spicy radish add the right amount of texture and, when combined with the acidic punch from the salsa, make this taco a favorite of mine.

Technique tip: Grilling fish should be done on a clean, preheated grill. Always start the grill on high heat and then turn down slightly just before starting. If using charcoal or wood, build your heat until you have glowing coals; at that point you can start to cook the fish.

I like to brine all of my portioned fish before cooking. The brine adds seasoning to the fish and helps clean it — especially if you are using a skin-on piece.


Swap option: You can certainly use any firm, fleshed, fatty fish for this dish, like yellowtail, tuna loins or swordfish.


  • Grilled salmon

    • 1/2 pound salmon, deboned and skinned
    • 5% salt solution (4 cups of water to 10 teaspoons salt)
    • 3 tablespoons yellow miso
    • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • Tomatillo Salsa

    • 1/2 onion
    • 1/2 jalapeño
    • 6 tomatillos
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1 lime, juiced
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • Salt, to taste
    • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Shaved avocado

    • 2 ripe avocados, shaved with a vegetable peeler
    • Avocado oil, as needed
  • For assembly

    • 4 yellow corn tortillas
    • 2 tablespoons julienned radish
    • 8 leaves cilantro
    • 2 green onions, sliced


For the salmon:

Brine the salmon in a 5% salt solution for 30 minutes.

Once the salmon has brined, cover the portioned fillets in miso and avocado oil and marinate for at least 15 minutes to an hour. You will grill the salmon after making the tomatillo salsa.

For the tomatillo salsa:

1. Preheat your grill to high heat, making sure the grilling grates are cleaned and seasoned.

2. Grill the onions, jalapeños, tomatillos and garlic until charred lightly.

3. In a high-speed blender or food processor, add the grilled vegetables, lime juice, vinegar, salt and grapeseed oil. Process the salsa until it's smooth but still has some texture. Remove from the blender and season with the paprika, cumin and coriander. You can cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. It can be stored for up to 3 days.

For the shaved avocado:

Using a vegetable peeler, shave the avocados into ribbons and place on parchment paper with avocado oil. Keep covered and refrigerated until ready to use.

For assembly:

1. Grill the salmon until it's firm to the touch and a toothpick or cake tester easily goes through its flesh. You can also use a probe thermometer to measure the temperature of the fish (should be at least 145°F).

2. Toast the corn tortillas over the grill.

3. Assemble the tacos with the grilled fish, tomatillo salsa, avocados, radish, cilantro and green onions.

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